I currently teach Math and Science. I would like to transform my classroom into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classroom by integrating the four subjects into one, hands-on, real-world learning experience. By integrating these four subjects, we can prepare our students for the 21st century.
The student will experience math, science, engineering, and technology through problem solving. Students will collect data through reseach, experiments and activities and use this data to learn mathematical concepts (i.e. paper airplanes teach measurement; cells and space teach exponential notation). Charts and graphs can be made to display data using Excel. Each quarter will culminate with a authentic assessment, where students are asked to engineer a solution to a real-world problem (i.e. evlauating existing landscapes to make recommendations for residents to avoid flooding). Throughout the course, students will be asked to respond to prompts in an online journal.
An interactive white board will be used to present lessons and ideas, and encourage student interaction. A student response system would allow for me to monitor student understanding throughout lessons (to answer formative questions within lessons or even to take summative assessments). Ideally, lap tops would also be available for each student for researching, journaling, and organizing data.
Here is an outline of how I'm envisioning the current math and science units to be integrated with technology and engineering:
Earth (1st 9 week period)
Students will learn about: geological processes and landforms, constructive and destructive forces, Weathering agents, Human interaction and earth processes, Tectonic plates/history of the earth, Rocks and Minerals, Erosion, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Number Theory, Estimation and Computation, Geometry
Culminating Activity EiE Unit: A Stick in the Mud: Evaluating a Landscape
Ecosystems (2nd 9 week period)
Global Interdependence: Biomes, environments, ecosystems, adaptations, food chains (energy transfers), division, fractions, decimals, percents, using data
Culminating Activity: Disney Planet Challenge
Cells, Microorganisms, and Genetics (3rd 9 week period)
Observe and identify animal and plant cells similarities / differences in multi-celled & single celled organisms, beneficial and harmful microorganisms, classify organisms, traits, learned behaviors / inherited traits, exponents, negative numbers, fractions, ratios, volume, area, capacity
Culminating Activity: Create a multi-media presentation or booklet about the structure of a basic cell. Include a key identifying the different structures in all cells, sketches or pictures of various cells, explanations of similarities/differences in the cells, and discussions of what would happen if one or more of the structures were missing from the cell.
Light and Sound (4th nine week period 9 week period)
Conduct experiments on light and sound, volume, ratio, rates, and probability.
Culminating Activity: Students will design a theatre, using what they've learned about how light is reflected and absorbed, as well as how sound is amplified. The finish project could be a diarama or described in a multi-media presentation.